John J. Schumacher

John J. Schumacher was born in Coon Rapids, Iowa, on March 28, 1925, of German immigrant parents. At 18 years old, he entered te Army on January 25, 1944, did his basic training at Camp Dodge, Iowa and at Camp Blanding, Florida, than passed through Camp Shanks, New York before boarding on July 15, 1944, to Scotland. On August 30, John arrived at Chiseldon, Great Britain, where he joined the 17th Airborne Division in the Headquarters Company – 1st Battalion - 194th Glider Infantry Regiment. John served in the 81-mm mortar platoon and the training continued.

On December 26, he arrived at Mourmelon, France, and was transferred to Beaumont-en-Argonne where his unit stayed in defensive position near the Belgian border. On January 2, 1945, he arrived at Neuchâteau, Belgium and from there continued on foot through the snow to Magerotte. John was engaged in combat for the first time on January 4, 1945, at Houmont. The contact with the enemy was extremely violent. Till January 12, several attacks and counter-attacks succeeded against the German tanks to reach Flamièrge. The 194th GIR reached the Houffalize area and the north of Luxembourg before taking defensive positions along the Our River.

On February 12, 1945, John arrived at Châlons-sur-Marne, France, and prepared for the operation "Varsity". He was transferred to the new Company D, still in the 81-mm mortar platoon and became a jeep driver. On March 24, 1945, the glider transporting John’s jeep landed north-east of Wesel, Germany, the objective being the Issel Canal. During the ensuing campaign, John passed through Münster, Hamm, Mülheim and ended the war with the occupation of Duisburg.
Photo taken in Duisburg, Germany, 1945

On August 12, 1945, John left Cherbourg for New York. The Japanese surrender prevented him the Pacific front. John was honorably discharged on the 29th of January 1946 without being wounded in combat.

John participated in three campaigns, the "Ardennes-Alsace", the "Rhineland" and "Central Europe" .
He was decorated with the Glider Badge, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Theater Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Medal with one Bronze Arrowhead and three Bronze Stars, Victory Medal.